300g minced pork
130g water chestnuts
1 bunch spring onions
Pinch chilli flakes
2 tablespoons oil
Salt and ground black pepper.
Prep to Cook: Mixing bowl, chopping board, vegetable knife, polythene bag, tablespoon.
Prep: Put the minced pork into a mixing bowl.
Slice and dice a whole bunch of spring onions using up to 1 cm of the green shoots.
Drain the water chestnuts and carefully slice and dice each water chestnut.
Slice and dice the mushrooms and add all these diced ingredients to the minced pork.
Add salt and black pepper and 2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil.
Use your clean hands to mix up all the ingredients.
Shape the meat balls:
Using a tablespoon take a measure amount of pork and shape with your hands.
Put oatmeal in a polythene bag and as each pork ball is shaped drop into the oatmeal and toss to coat the pork balls.
Place apart on a baking tray and bake for 25 – 30 minutes at 190?C or Gas mark 5.
Serve with rice, salads or in ciabatta bread roll or similar.
Pork balls are versatile they can be eaten hot or cold as starters or main course. Interesting texture from the crunchy water chestnuts makes these pork balls really special.
Cooks Know How: Pork mince is a lean and healthy protein and has a fairly bland flavour. It is easy to add flavours, in this case from spring onions, and texture, from the water-chestnuts to make the pork balls interesting. It is important to season these meat balls well with salt, pepper and chilli flakes.
Mixing the pork with all the diced ingredients will distribute the flavour through the balls. Adding a couple of tablespoons of oil will keep the meat moist as it is cooked. The minced meat needs to reach a high temperature (over 72? C) to be sure the meat is cooked and safe. During cooking meat fibres shrink slightly and therefore the meat balls will end up smaller than when firstly shaped, this is due to ‘denaturation’ of meat proteins. Browning that occurs on the outside of the meat balls is due to the Maillard reaction. Oatmeal helps to add crunch and hold the meat ball shape.
Pork mince being bland can take on flavours easily. Add other spices such as cumin seeds or coriander for spicier flavours. Coatings for the balls could be poppy seed, sesame seed or even packet stuffing mix.